Monday, June 19, 2006

Out of the closet...

I've decided to reveal my not-too-hidden identity, and those of my family. So without further ado, let me introduce us.

I'm Heather, which you probably already know. I enjoy expensive meals and long walks on the beach. Actually I'm kind of boring. I like to sew, which I'm just learning how to do, and crochet, which I'm really pretty good at. I'm impassioned about a bunch of things, and have been known to blabber on about them here.

My manly lug of a husband is Vic. We've been married for 10 years. He's into engines and is currently rebuilding a 1980 Honda Goldwing, hopefully in time for him to actually ride it this summer. Vic is my complete opposite in most areas but despite this fact is still a pretty smart guy.

My son Chad is 10. He's very high-energy and incredibly smart, although he has a tendency to question his own abilities and become overly judgemental of his skills. He is very vocal, chatting your ear off every second you give him the chance, and often asking questions that are difficult to answer. He also has a tendency to lean towards odd in most cases. This is the child put on the earth to teach me patience. He has caused me to redefine what "weird" even is, often deciding that those that seem strange are really just misunderstood. He is a wonderful and fun kid.

My daughter Cadence is 6. She's currently dealing with a battle between Tomboy and Girly Girl. She loves butterflies, flowers, lacy dresses and everything pretty. She also loves climbing trees and digging in the dirt. I think once she figures out where she wants to fit in there, she'll be a wonderfully balanced young lady. Cadence has a naturally passive personality, which makes her middle child status even more profound when she is so easily overlooked. I think we're doing a pretty good job making her feel special, but she still has to remind us sometimes when something is "NOT FAIR!" She's a beautiful girl with a quick smile, and everyone that knows her, loves her.

My youngest daughter Riley is 3. She's recently discovered that she is not, as previously thought, the center of the universe, and I'm telling ya, she's pissed about it. She's got a fantastic vocabulary and a full grasp of language, so her complaints are clear to everyone who cares to hear them. Riley is the comic relief in my life. Most kids her age are really funny anyway, but she's topped my other two in hysterical comments and events. Riley's birth was the event that made me reconsider my parenting style and way of life. In a way, I'm a better parent and an overall better person because of her.

So that's it. That's my family. I'm looking forward to sharing a little more freely now. Boy am I glad to get that all off my chest!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

What to call the children?...

On the internet I mean. I am seriously tiring of referring to my kids as "my son," "my oldest daughter," and "my youngest daughter." A lot of people use just one letter to identify their kids, but since my oldest two have the same initials, that's not gonna work for me. Some people have silly made-up names for their kids, which was a pretty tempting idea for me until I remembered how difficult it was to give them real names in the first place. If this name is something they will be called from here on out, until who knows when.. well, that's a lot of pressure. What if I hate it later?

Anonymity is really not that important to me. I'm not really worried about stalkers. My fear of using real names and pictures stems from something else entirely. I know lots of people with internet access that I would rather not find this blog, or at least realize it's actually me who writes it. Evil people I may run into in the grocery store or at a family event. Demons, even.

Anyone else have thoughts on this? (All two of you faithful readers lol) I'm about ready to say screw the enemies and just use their real names anyway.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Let's have a little talk about marriage...

I married my husband 11 days after my 19th birthday, which was also 10 days after our first child was born. My husband had just completed Marine Corps boot camp. We stayed his entire leave with my parents. You can imagine how my wedding night went with these little facts. When I got married, I was only thinking of how much I loved my husband and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. Our wedding was in a church with a minister, but I couldn't have cared less if it was in a ditch and we were pronounced by a passing hobo. I invited family because I wanted them to share this important decision with me. Most importantly, I wanted us to be legally bound. I didn't care about the declaration of our love and commitment before God, because religion is not important to me. I did care about the declaration of our love and commitment to each other. I cared about the ceremony and ritual of joining - emotionally, financially, and legally.

Lately, I'm overwhelmed by the number of - we'll just say people - who insist on legal declaration of marriage as a joining of man and woman. There is lots of discussion about same-sex marriage as "violating the sanctity of marriage," which is why it's so important to state man and woman. In the state constitution. I understand the importance of putting some specifics on who should get married, especially if they aren't already in the state constitutions. If my state constitution doesn't say a man can't marry a goat, I'm concerned. There are rules about children, right? Isn't marrying an animal abusive too? But human and human should be as specific as we get when it comes to people being married.

Sanctity: n. pl. sanc·ti·ties: Something considered sacred

Sacred: adj. : Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.

I'm guessing we're a little fuzzy on what separating church and state really means?

If you think marriage is a holy and god-endorsed union, more power to you. But on the books, in a legal sense? Do any of these Ch-- ahem, people - have reasons to ammend state constituion that don't include their religious beliefs? People, marriage is important to everyone who is, or wants to be, married. Marriage is only sacred to you. Your marriage and recognition before God is not at all threatened by others not following your rules. Why do you even care?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Garbage on tv...

A week ago, I returned the kids' books to the school. I thought this would be as good a time as any to take a break. I thought we would screw around outside in the nice spring weather, make a trip or two to the river to fish or swim, sleep late, whatever. The kids have taken this vacation as an opportunity to vegitate in front of the television. Both Friday and Saturday I had to kick them off the tv and tell them to go outside. It wasn't unbearably hot out there, or raining or anything, they were just being lazy.

Previously, my attitude about television is, they can watch whatever they want as long as it doesn't violate my content restrictions. I don't like sex or drug references, or anything scary enough to produce nightmares. I rarely watch the news after my oldest daughter started having nightmares about masked people bombing our house. The newspaper is so much better, since you can read and think instead of just having information force-fed into your brain. Previously, my decision to let my kids watch any television program was based on if there was anything wrong with it. Back Yardigans? I don't see anything wrong with that. Ed, Edd, & Eddie? Nope, nothing wrong with that one.

I'm starting to realize that just having nothing wrong with them is what's wrong with them. Sure, those programs are fun, and sometimes pretty funny too. A girlfriend of mine argued that the Back Yardigans encourages imagination. Honestly, I can't see how showing someone else imagining encourages you to imagine stuff yourself. Why would you when you can have your imagination spoon-fed? Things children can touch and manipulate, without being told what they're supposed to be doing with them, encourages imagination. I'm sure almost any child would rather be having fun than watching fun.

This morning, the tv went off. They can watch something that really is stimulating or educational, or they can find something else to do. After 10 minutes of complaints about not being able to watch Cartoon Cartoon, they're now playing with Legos, inventing a game that I can't possibly understand. Now if I could just find some sort of programming guide so we don't miss something that really is worthwhile...

Monday, June 05, 2006

Water Witching...

A friend of mine has a business digging ponds and culverts for people. He owns a big bulldozer and a couple of other large pieces of strange-looking construction equipment. He frequently calls to ask if my son would like to come with him for the afternoon, to help survey or because he found something interesting on the property he might want to explore. It gives my son something to do for the afternoon, and gets him away from his sisters for a while, which is good for both him and them. Today my friend said he was going to "witch some water" and thought my son would enjoy the experience.

I've heard of water witches. Those are people who claim they can find water in the ground with a forked stick. Called witches because this trick actually worked for some people, and anything unexplainable is magic, and anyone performing that magic is a witch. I don't know that anyone was burned at the stake for it, but it's certainly worth recognition nonetheless. I asked my friend how he did this, hoping to the hills he didn't mention a forked stick, since some much more advanced method has certainly been invented by now.

He told me he uses two metal rods, and that as you walk across an underground stream or buried water line, the rods move to the right and left. "Okay," I say, with more-than-obvious disbelief in my voice. "No, I'm serious," he says, "I didn't believe it either when I first saw it. I thought the guy telling me about it was putting me on, but then I tried it. And it works." Now my curiosity was sparked. I asked how it worked, and he said he didn't know, but he knew that it did and had been using this method to locate buried sewer and and water for years. Huh. This friend is a reputable person. If he says it works, I believe him.

When my friend got here, he was ready to demonstrate this technique, but the rods were moving constantly. He said either there was lots of water in the ground, or the kids weren't holding them level. My son immediately declared the whole thing "stupid" and proceeded to act like a jerk the next few minutes until they left. I was hoping he'd be really intrigued, but apparently he thinks it's a trick.

I thought I could certainly find some believable information online about the "dowsing" process, but almost every site I found talked about how it "might" work, and that research has been inconclusive. I'm bummed because I'd like to know for myself if this works, and how, and share that with my kids. I mean they are homeschooled, so it might be nice if they learned something once in a while ;)